Tuesday 19 June 2018


ZALMEN EPSHTEYN (September 16, 1860-November 11, 1936)
            He was born in Luban (Lyuban’), Minsk Province.  He studied the Volozhin yeshiva, and on his own without a school he gained a broad Jewish and secular education.  In Odessa he began to write his first articles for: Hakol (The voice), Hamelits (The advocate), Hatsfira (The siren), and Haboker or (The morning light) on Zionist issues.  From 1881 when his first article appeared in print in Hamelits, he began a campaign in the Hebrew-language press for “ibat Tsiyon” (Love of Zion).  Using the pen name Shlomo Haalkoshi, he wrote up a series of images from the lives of ancient Jewry.  For a time he also wrote in Yiddish and served as an internal contributor to Tog (Day) in St. Petersburg, edited by Leon Rabinovitsh, published therein articles and feature pieces mainly on Zionist topics (using the pen names Ben Azzai and Z. E.).  Later, he came out against Yiddish in Hashiloa (The shiloah), Hatsfira, and in a series of articles in Fraynd (Friend) entitled “Unzer zelbstbashtimung un hebreish” (Our self-determination and Hebrew).  He made aliya to the land of Israel in 1925.  From his writings, we have: Kitve zalman epshteyn (The writings of Zalmen Epshteyn), with an introduction by Yankev Fikhman and an autobiography (Tel Aviv, 1938), 327 pp.; and a monograph, Moshe leyb lilyenblum, shitato vehalakh maḥshevotav bisheelot hadat uvidevar teḥiyat am yisrael beerets avotaṿ (Moshe Leib Lilienblum, his method and his thoughts went to the questions of religion and to the revival of the people of Israel in the land of his forefathers) (Tel Aviv, 1935), 224 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, with a bibliography; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lechalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1947), pp. 799-800; G. Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit badorot haaḥaronim (Handbook of modern Hebrew literature), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1965).
Yankev Kahan

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